Highway 39 Drive-In

7901 Trask Avenue,
Westminster, CA 92683

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pacific Theatres

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Highway 39 Drive-In

The Highway 39 Drive-In was opened on June 29, 1955 with James Stewart in “Strategic Air Command” & George Montgomery in “Robbers' Roost”. The Santa Ana Register called this one of the largest drive-ins in the West because of its 1,600 car capacity and a screen almost ten stories high. As Orange County’s fourth drive-in, this Pacific Theatres' snack bar was six times larger than normal and had counter space almost a quarter block long. It became a 4-screen theatre on June 15, 1979.

When it closed on March 31, 1997, the 56-year history of Orange County drive-ins came to a close. Out of eleven drive-in locations in Orange County beginning with its first, the Orange Drive-In in 1941 to the Stadium Drive-In built in 1970, the Highway 39 Drive-In was beaten only by the Orange Drive-In in its longevity but it has the distinction of being the last to go, outliving the seven ozoners that were built after it. Among the movies playing on its four screens on closing night were “Private Parts” and “Beavis and Butthead Do America”.

A Lowe’s and Wal-Mart store were later built on the site by the real estate division of Pacific Theatres. By 2022 it was the Gateway Shopping Center.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm

Here is a December 1959 ad from the Press-Telegram:

kencmcintyre on September 23, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Here is a grand opening ad from July 1955:

Meredith Rhule
Meredith Rhule on December 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I went to Santiago High School in Garden Grove and lived off Trask way before being a projectionist. How horribly sad this is.

kencmcintyre on April 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

If you enter the theater address on this site, you will see a 1972 aerial view. The 1953 view shows only farmland, while the more recent photos show the retail development.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

THanks Ken Mc and Chuck 1231 for the pictures and the ad from 1955.

TLSLOEWS on June 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Lasted 56 years pretty good.

rivest266 on November 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

The Hi-Way 39 reopened with 4 screens on June 15th, 1979. Grand opening ads posted.

jwmovies on June 12, 2022 at 11:30 pm

Now Westminster Gateway Shopping Center. Please update.

davidcoppock on June 13, 2022 at 12:11 am

Opened on 29th June 1955 with “Strategic air command” and “Robber’s roost”.

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